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All the material on this website is copyrighted to J-P Metsavainio, if not otherwise stated. Any content on this website may not be reproduced without the author’s permission.

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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Milky Way, 12 years, 1250 hours of exposures and 125 x 22 degrees of sky THIS IS A PERMANENT POST

You can buy prints from here:


It took nearly twelve years to collect enough data for this high resolution gigapixel class mosaic image of the Milky Way.  Total exposure time used is around 1250 hours between 2009 and 2021.


" I can hear music in this composition, from the high sounds of sparcs and bubbles at left  all the way to a deep and massive sounds at right."


The final photo is about 100 000 pixels wide, it has 234 individual mosaic panels stitched together and 1,7 gigapixels. (Click for a large image) All the frames used are marked in this image. Since many of sub-images and mosaics are independent artworks it leads to a very complex mosaic structure. 


From Taurus to Cygnus
Click for a large image, it's really worth it! (7000 x 1300 pixels)

Image in mapped colors from the light emitted by an ionized elements, hydrogen = green, sulfur = red and oxygen = blue. NOTE, the apparent size of the Moon in a lower left corner. NOTE 2, there are two 1:1 scale enlargements from the full size original at both ends of the image

NEW, A HD-video from Germany shows my photo in full glory

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-Z60eZ4yqM
(Video in Germany but images are the international language)


Close ups form the parts of the Grande Mosaic
Taurus side of the mosaic, https://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2021/02/a-new-mosaic-image-from-taurus-to.html



A closeup from large panorama to show the overall resolution
Click for a large image

The California Nebula, NGC 1499, can be seen at bottom left of the large mosaic image.
There are about 20 million individual stars visible in the whole mosaic image.



Orientation and details
Click for a large image







Imaging info

Image spans 125 x 22 degrees of  the Milky About 20 million individual stars are visible in my photo!

It took almost twelve years to finalize this mosaic image. The reason for a long time period is naturally the size of the mosaic and the fact, that image is very deep. Another reason is that I have soht most of the mosaic frames as an individual compositions and publish them as independent artworks. That leads to a kind of complex image set witch is partly overlapping with a lots of unimaged areas between and around frames. I have shot the missing data now and then during the years and last year I was able to publish many sub mosaic images as I got them ready first.

My processing workflow is very constant so very little tweaking was needed between the mosaic frames. Total exposure time is over 1250 hours. Some of the frames has more exposure time, than others. There are some extremely dim objects clearly visible in this composition, like a extremely dim supernova remnant W63, the Cygnus Shell. It lays about six degrees up from North America nebula and it can be seen as a pale blue ring. I spent about 100 hours for this SNR alone. An other large and faint supernova remnant in Cygnus can be seen at near right edge of the image. G65.5+5.7 is as large as more famous Veil nebula. There are over 60 exposure hours for this SNR alone.  (Veil SNR is just outside of the mosaic area for compositional reasons but can be seen in "Detail" image above.) 


The Mosaic Work, technical info

I have used several optical configurations for this mosaic image during the years. Up to 2014 I was using an old Meade LX200 GPS 12" scope, QHY9 astrocam, Canon EF 200mm f1.8 camera optics and baader narrowband filter set. After 2014 I have had 10-micron 1000 equatorial mount, Apogee Alta U16 astro camera, Tokina AT-x 200mm f2.8 camera lens and the Astrodon 50mm square narrowband filter set. I have shot many details with a longer focal length, before 2014 by using Meade 12" scope with reducer and after 2014 Celestron EDGE 11" and reducer. Quider camera has been Lodestar and Lodestar II.

I took my current toolset as a base tool since it has a relatively high resolution combined to a very large field of view. Also it collects photons very quickly since it's undersampled and I can have very dim background nebulosity visible in very short time (many times 30 min frame is enough)

I do all my mosaic work under the PhotoShop, Matching the separate panels by using stars as an indicator is kind of straight forward work. My processing has become so constant, that very little tweaking is needed between separate frames, just some minor levels, curves and color balance. 

I have used lots of longer focal length sub-frames in my mosaic to boost details. (See the mosaic map at top of the page) To match them with shorter focal length shots I developed a new method.

Firstly I upscale the short focal length frames about 25% to have more room for high resolution images.Then I match the high res photo to a mosaic by using the stars as an indicator. After that I remove all the tiny stars from the high res image. Next I separate stars from low res photo and merge the starless high res data to a starless low res frame. And finally I place the removed low res stars back at top of everything with zero data lost. Usually there are some optical distortions and it's seen especially in a star field. Now all my stars are coming from a same optical setup and I don't have any problems with distortions. (I'm using the same star removal technique as in my Tone Mapping Workflow)



Closeups from large panorama to show the overall resolution
Click for a large image

Image in mapped colors from the light emitted by an ionized elements, hydrogen = green, sulfur = red and oxygen = blue. 

A 1:3 resolution close up from the photo above
Click for a large image,

A closeup from the main image shows the Sharpless 124 at up and the Cocoon nebula with a dark gas stream at bottom.

From Bubble to Cave Nebula
Image info, https://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2020/03/from-bubble-to-cave-nebula-area.html

The tulip nebula area
The Tulip Nebula, Sh2-101, can be seen at center right, there is also a black hole Cygnus X-1
The blog post with technical details can be seen here, 
https://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2020/10/the-tulip-nebula-in-cygnus-sh2-101.html

The supernova remnant G65.3+5.7

My Observatory,


Not an igloo, this is reality of strophotographing in Finland


Monday, March 22, 2021

A temporary WEB SHOP OPENED



This is a very temporary Web Shop and I'll shut it down in near future!
You can now buy my photos as a photographic prints  

Please, have a look, https://astroanarchy.zenfolio.com/

The reason for the Temporary Web Shop is that my picture of the Great Mosaic of Milky Way, went viral. I can't reply personally to all, who wants to have a photo from my collection. 

I'm a professional visual artist and my photos are always a very limited series. In this case, the limitation is done by limiting the sales time. I will inform a day or two ahead, when I'll close this Web Shop permanently.  

Thank you,

Astronomical Nature photographer J-P Metsavainio, Finland



Sunday, March 14, 2021

Space between Cygnus and cepheus

 I have published several large mosaic image panoramas in a past year. I have made several smaller sub-panoramas, they are working as an independent artworks.

This image shows an area between well known and much imaged objects, I always like to find a new viewpoints to the sky. 

The space between Cygnus and Cepheus
Click for a large image, it's worth it

Image in mapped colors from the light emitted by an ionized elements, hydrogen = green, sulfur = red and oxygen = blue. 

A closeup to show the resolution
Click for a large image,

A closeup from the main image shows the Sharpless 124 at up and the Cocoon nebula with a dark gas stream at bottom.

The mosaic, technical info

Panels used for the mosaic image are marked here, panels are shot between 2010 and 2021

I have used several optical configurations for this mosaic image during the years. Up to 2014 I was using an old Meade LX200 GPS 12" scope, QHY9 astrocam, Canon EF 200mm f1.8 camera optics and baader narrowband filter set. After 2014 I have had 10-micron 1000 equatorial mount, Apogee Alta U16 astro camera, Tokina AT-x 200mm f2.8 camera lens and the Astrodon 50mm square narrowband filter set. I have shot many details with a longer focal length, before 2014 by using Meade 12" scope with reducer and after 2014 Celestron EDGE 11" and reducer. Quider camera has been Lodestar and Lodestar II.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Nebulae of Auriga and how my mosaic images are done.

I'll like to show the actual resolution of this and other of my large mosaic images by posting a close up from this panorama. Since there are data from so many years (2009 -2021) and it has been shot with various optical configurations, I had to develop a new method to combine frames for a mosaic image.

A closeup from the panorama
Click for a large image

This closeup is reduced about 80% from the original resolution


In my last blog post I published a panoramic mosaic image showing the sky between taurus and Perseus. https://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2021/02/a-new-mosaic-image-from-taurus-to.html


The Mosaic Work

Up to 2014 I was using an old Meade LX200 GPS 12" scope, QHY9 astrocam, Canon EF 200mm f1.8 camera optics and baader narrowband filter set. After 2014 I have had 10-micron 1000 equatorial mount, Apogee Alta U16 astro camera, Tokina AT-x 200mm f2.8 camera lens and the Astrodon 50mm square narrowband filter set. I have shot many details with a longer focal length, before 2014 by using Meade 12" scope with reducer and after 2014 Celestron EDGE 11" and reducer. Quider camera has been Lodestar and Lodestar II.

I took my current toolset as a base tool since it has a relatively high resolution combined to a very large field of view. Also it collects photons very quickly since it's undersampled and I can have very dim background nebulosity visible in very short time (many times 30 min frame is enough)

I do all my mosaic work under the PhotoShop, Matching the separate panels by using stars as an indicator is kind of straight forward work. My processing has become so constant, that very little tweaking is needed between separate frames, just some minor levels, curves and color balance. 

I have used lots of longer focal length frames in my mosaic to boost details. To match them with shorter focal length shots I developed a new method.

Firstly I upscale the short focal length frames about 25% to have more room for high resolution images.Then I match the high res photo to a mosaic by using the stars as an indicator. After that I remove all the tiny stars from the high res image. Next I separate stars from low res photo and merge the starless high res data to a starless low res frame. And finally I place the removed low res stars back at top of everything with zero data lost. Usually there are some optical distortions and it's seen especially in a star field. Now all my stars are coming from a same optical setup and I don't have any problems with distortions. (I'm using the same star removal technique as in my Tone Mapping Work Flow)

Sunday, February 28, 2021

A new mosaic image from Taurus to Perseus 2009-2021

I have published several large mosaic images in past six months. This time my mosaic project took about 12 years to get finalized. 

49 individual panels are covering 36 x 11 degrees of sky, total exposure time is around 250 hours. Native resolution for the mosaic is 31.000 x 8.800 pixels.

There are several rarely seen objects in my mosaic, they are very dim and majority of the 250 hours of exposures was used for them. There are three supernova remnants in the panorama,  Simeis 147 at left, Sharpless 224 and Sharpless 221 are located at center of the image. They all are very dim but the Sharpless 221 is the most difficult one, it has an extremely low surface brightness and I think that my photo of Sh2-221 was the first three band color image out of it. Two large emission nebulae at right end of the mosaic must be the dimmest nebulae I have ever shot. 

From Taurus to Perseus 2009-2021
Click for a large image, it's worth it!


Image in mapped colors from the light emitted by an ionized elements, hydrogen = green, sulfur = red and oxygen = blue. NOTE, the apparent size of the Moon in a lower left corner. 

Frames used for the large mosaic
Click for a large image

I have used several optical configurations for this mosaic image during the years. Up to 2014 I was using an old Meade LX200 GPS 12" scope, QHY9 astrocam, Canon EF 200mm f1.8 camera optics and baader narrowband filter set. After 2014 I have had 10-micron 1000 equatorial mount, Apogee Alta U16 astro camera, Tokina AT-x 200mm f2.8 camera lens and the Astrodon 50mm square narrowband filter set. I have shot many details with a longer focal length, before 2014 by using Meade 12" scope with reducer and after 2014 Celestron EDGE 11" and reducer. Quider camera has been Lodestar and Lodestar II.

Details and Orientation
Click for large images






Links to some of the  individual images used in large panorama

Simeis 147



Sharpless 224 & 223




Sh2-221 & 216


Sharpless 205, NGC 1491 and  Lynds Bright Nebula 696


Jus H-alpha




Sunday, February 21, 2021

Zooming in to an emission nebula Sharpless 132

 

Since I have shot many targets with various of focal lengths I'm able to make zoom in series out of my material. This is a nice way to show the fractal nature of our universe, there is always something new to see when the detail level gets higher.
This is also a good method to show the orientation and the scale in a large context. 


A zoom in series to the Sharpless 132, Sh2-132
Click for a large image (Note a large image, 1600 x 8500 pixels)


Optical configurations used for this image series, Before year 2015, Canon EF 200 mm f1.8, Baader narrowband set and QHY9 astro camera. For long focal length work Meade GPS 12". After 2015 Celestron EDGE 11", Tokina AT-x 300 mm f2.8, Apogee Ata U16 astro camera and Astrodon narrowband filters.

photos used for the zoom in series

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Sharpless 132, sh2-132, with new data

 I have shot a large four panel mosaic out of the Sharpless 132 emission Nebula at february 2019. At the time I was using the Celestron EDGE 11" telescope with reducer.   Sh2-132 locates in the border of Cepheus and Lacerta at distance of about 10 000 ly. 

I shot same object with a shorter focal length  instrument, the Tokina AT-x 300mm f2.8 camera optics. Since the system is kind of undersampled, I got a very deep image of Sh2-132 just with four hours of exposures.

I have now combined those two images and the result has the best out of both worlds . All the high resolution details and the high signal to noise elements are from the long focal length photo and the dim background stuff is from short focal length photo. I have a new processing method to do this and it turned to be a very powerful for a work like this. I call it to VARES-method. Variable Resolution imaging. will be good tool when I want to go very deep very fast and have a high resolution details at the same time.
This is a way to combine best out of the correctly sampled and under sampled optical configurations!

I think this image is a good sample what VARES-technique can do.

Sharpless 132
Click for a large image

Sharpless 132 in mapped colors, from the emission of ionized elements,
R=Sulfur, G=Hydrogen and B=Oxygen. (Hubble Palette)
A version with out VARES method can be seen here, https://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2019/02/sharpless-132-sh2-132.html


A closeup 
Click for a large image




A wide field image of the Sharpless 132
Click for a large image

Sharpless 132 in mapped colors, from the emission of ionized elements,
R=Sulfur, G=Hydrogen and B=Oxygen. Image details can be seen here, https://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2020/11/a-new-photo-of-sharpless-132-sh2-132.html

Technical details

Processing workflow
Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack2.
Deconvolution with a CCDStack2 Positive Constraint, 33 iterations, added at 50% weight
Color combine in PS CS3
Levels and curves in PS CS3.

Imaging optics
Tokina AT-x 300mm f2.8 camera lens
Celestron EDGE 11" telescope with reducer

Mount
10-micron 1000

Cameras and filters
Imaging camera Apogee Alta U16 and Apogee seven slot filter wheel
Guider camera, Lodestar x 2 and an old spotting scope of Meade LX200

Astrodon filters,
5nm H-alpha 3nm S-II and 3nm O-III

Total exposure time used for VARES-processing

Tokina camera optics
H-alpha, 6 x 1200 s, binned 1x1 = 2 h
O-III, 3 x 1200 s, binned 1x1 = 1 h
S-II, 3 x 1200 s, binned 2x2 = 1 h

Celestron telescope
Total exposure time for all of the four panels together
H-alpha, 48 x 1200 s, binned 2x2 = 16 h
O-III, 24 x 1200 s, binned 4x4 = 8 h.
S-II, 18 x 1200 s. binned 4x4 = 6 h





Monday, February 15, 2021

Zooming in to a heart of the Heart

 

Since I have shot many targets with various of focal lengths I'm able to make zoom in series out of my material. This is a nice way to show the fractal nature of our universe, there is always something new to see when the detail level gets higher.

A zoom in series to the Melotte 15 in the IC 1805, the Heat nebula
Click for a large image

Images are in mapped colors from the emission of an ionized elements, hydrogen, sulfur and oxygen.
NOTE, an apparent size of the Moon is marked in third photo for a scale.


Thursday, February 11, 2021

APOD by NASA, Astro Anarchy gets published

 

Astronomy Picture of the Day

My shot of the constellation Cygnus was selected today as an APOD (Astronomy Picture of the Day) by NASA. You can see the NASA page here: https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap210211.html



INFO

Original blog post about this image, with technical details, can be seen here:

Monday, February 8, 2021

Cygnus mosaic in visual colors

 
I have published this image in mapped colors at December 2020, it can be seen here, https://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2020/12/cygnus-project-grande-finale-for-now.html

I have started this imaging project back at 2010. My aim was to make a high resolution mosaic covering the constellation Cygnus. Work like that takes time and patience, especially since I have worked so, that many of the individual sub mosaics or frames have been published as an individual artworks. Here is a poster format presentation about all of longer focal length images used for this mosaic beside wide field panels, https://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2018/11/treasures-of-swan.html

As a result I have now a huge 37 panel (And 58 long focal length sub-panel) mosaic panorama covering 28 x 18 degrees of sky.  I have collected photons way over 400 hours during past ten years for this photo. The full size mosaic image has a size of about 25.000 x 15.000 pixels.


A photo of five million stars*

Great Mosaic of Cygnus (2010-2020)
28x18 degrees, 97 panels and over 400 hours of exposure time

The full size photo is worth to see!  (2700 x 1700 pixels)An apparent size of the Moon is marked as a scale at bottom left of the picture frame. 
This is a large area of sky! (28 x 18 degrees) Image is in visual colours, from the emission of ionized elements in the area.
* I actually counted the stars and in this field of view there are little over five million individual stars!

Orientation
Three supernova remnants, two Wolf Rayet stars and a black hole
Please, click the image for full resolution

In the orientation image above, there are three large supernova remnants visible, first the Cygnus Shell W63 , bluish ring at upper left quarter, secondly the large SNR G65.3+5.7 at utmost right and finally the third is a brighter SNR, the Veil nebula just outside of field of view at bottom center. (Image is partly overlapping with large mosaic  but I didn't want to include it yet due to artistic composition.)

Beside three supernova remnants there are two Wolf Rayet stars with outer shell formations. NGC 6888, the Crescent Nebula at center of the image and the WR 134, it can be seen as a blue arch just right from the Crescent Nebula, near the Tulip nebula.

Next to the Tulip Nebula lays a Black hole Cygnus X-1, it's marked in small closeup image of the Tulip Neula at center right in orientation image above. 

Constellation Cygnus is an endless source of celestial wonders, both scientifically and aesthetically. For me, as an visual artist, this are of night sky is very inspiring There are endless amount of  amazing shapes and structures, I can spend rest of my life just shooting images from this treasury.



THE MOSAIC

Evolution of the mosaic between 2010 and 2020
Click for a large image




Mosaic panels in chronological order

There are 37 base panels with shorter focal length tools (300mm f2.8 Tokina and 200mm f1.8 Canon) There is also 59 sub-panels used, they are shot with my old 12" Meade and 11" Celestron Edge scopes.
NOTE I recalculated the total exposure time and it's actually way over 600 hours.
Here is a poster format presentation and a list all of longer focal length images used for this mosaic beside the actual panels, https://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2018/11/treasures-of-swan.html


Equipments used

I have used several optical configurations for this mosaic image during the years. Up to 2014 I was using an old Meade LX200 GPS 12" scope, QHY9 astrocam, Canon EF 200mm f1.8 camera optics and baader narrowband filter set. After 2014 I have had 10-micron 1000 equatorial mount, Apogee Alta U16 astro camera, Tokina AT-x 200mm f2.8 camera lens and the Astrodon 50mm square narrowband filter set. I have shot many details with a longer focal length, before 2014 by using Meade 12" scope with reducer and after 2014 Celestron EDGE 11" and reducer. Quider camera has been Lodestar and Lodestar II.


Couple of close ups to show the resolution
Click for a large image

North america & pelican nebula region




Supernova remnant G65.3+5.7
The starfield in this part of Milky Way is extremely dense, blog post about this SNR can be seen here, https://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2020/11/a-supernova-remnant-in-cygnus-g65357-snr.html


Cirrus of  Western Cygnus
Blog post about this photohttps://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2020/12/cirrus-of-cygnus-and-supernova-remnant.html








Twit twit

 



You can follow my work as an astronomical photographer in twitter too!


Melotte 15 in the Heart Nebula for no reason whatsoever.

Monday, February 1, 2021

This gigapixel mosaic has about 1000 exposure hours between 2010 - 2021


Over a ten years and about 1000 hours of exposures, the image spans 82 x 20 degrees of sky at resolution of 17.000 x 72.000 pixels (Over a gigapixel) 
Individual frames are shot between 2010 and 2021, there are total 168 images stitched together
There are more than ten million stars visible in this mosaic image!

From Perseus to Cygnus
Click for a large image (6000 x 1500 pixels)

Image in mapped colors from the light emitted by an ionized elements, hydrogen = green, sulfur = red and oxygen = blue. NOTE, the apparent size of the Moon in a lower left corner. 
Click for a large image 




Details
Click for a large image 




Evolution of the grande mosaic shot between 2010 and 2021
Click for a large image



Imaging info

It took over a ten years to finalize this mosaic image. The reason for a long time period is naturally the size of the mosaic and the fact, that image is very deep. Another reason is that I have soht most of the mosaic frames as an individual compositions and publish them as independent artworks. That leads to a kind of complex image set witch is partly overlapping with a lots of unimaged areas between and around frames. I have shot the missing data now and then during the years and last year I was able to publish sub mosaic images as I got them ready first.

My processing workflow is very constant so very little tweaking was needed between the mosaic frames. Total exposure time is way over 900 hours. Some of the frames has more exposure time, than others. There are some extremely dim objects clearly visible in this composition, like a extremely dim supernova remnant W63, the Cygnus Shell. It lays about six degrees up from North America nebula and it can be seen as a pale blue ring. I spent about 100 hours for this SNR alone. An other large and faint supernova remnant in Cygnus can be seen at near right edge of the image. G65.5+5.7 is as large as more famous Veil nebula. There are over 60 exposure hours for this SNR alone.  (Veil SNR is just outside of the mosaic area but can be seen in "Detail" image above.) 
Frames used for the large mosaic
Click for a large image


Tools

I have used several optical configurations for this mosaic image during the years. Up to 2014 I was using an old Meade LX200 GPS 12" scope, QHY9 astrocam, Canon EF 200mm f1.8 camera optics and baader narrowband filter set. After 2014 I have had 10-micron 1000 equatorial mount, Apogee Alta U16 astro camera, Tokina AT-x 200mm f2.8 camera lens and the Astrodon 50mm square narrowband filter set. I have shot many details with a longer focal length, before 2014 by using Meade 12" scope with reducer and after 2014 Celestron EDGE 11" and reducer. Quider camera has been Lodestar and Lodestar II.



Details from the large mosaic to show the resolution
(Images are reduced for a web usage)

Click for a large image!

North America and the Pelican Nebula

NOTE, image is reduced to 2000 x 1300 pixels from 6000 x 4000 pixels.



The Central Cygnus

Original size in mosaic image is 5000 x 2500 pixels


The supernova remnant G65.3+5.7

More info about this image here, https://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2020/11/g65357-large-supernova-remnant-in_22.html


A closeup from the supernova remnant G65.3+5.7
The noise is not a noise, just a massive amount of stars

The starfield in this part of Milky Way is extremely dense, blog post about this SNR can be seen here, https://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2020/11/a-supernova-remnant-in-cygnus-g65357-snr.html


The whole Cassiopeia




The tulip nebula area

The Tulip Nebula, Sh2-101, can be seen at center right, there is also a black hole Cygnus X-1
The blog post with technical details can be seen here, 
https://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2020/10/the-tulip-nebula-in-cygnus-sh2-101.html


Cirrus of Cygnus and the supernova remnant W63

Blog post about this photohttps://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2020/12/cirrus-of-cygnus-and-supernova-remnant.html